As you know from previous posts in year's past, Halloween is a big deal in our family. It's my favorite holiday and I was blessed to marry into a family who shared that love of Halloween. Every year we carve pumpkins like crazy for the week leading up to the big night. This year was hard for me because in my very pregnant and always tired state, I was unable to carve up to my normal standards and only produced 4 pumpkins. Last year I did 24 myself and as a family we had 48 in all. This year we had a couple of new carvers, Karyn's boyfriend and my new father-in-law, so we still managed 44 pumpkins as a family. Not bad. I'll show you the 6 pumpkins that Nick and I did tomorrow, or you can cheat and visit my Flickr stream now to see them all, but today I thought I'd give you a glimpse into what our Halloween evening looks like every year.
We always set up at my mother-in-law's house. We're famous in the neighborhood, so if we tried to rotate houses each year I fear we would disappoint our fans. She has a nice yard for displaying and good neighborhood for trick-or-treating anyway.
This year Bill welded some stands to put some of the pumpkins on so they would appear to be floating in the yard, and they really worked out well. He is going to make some more for next year, with some minor changes to the design. So we began the evening by figuring out where the stands would do and which pumpkins would be displayed on them.Then begins the task of carrying each pumpkin out of the garage and setting it in the yard. If we have any themes going, we try to keep those pumpkins together. Otherwise we just space them out randomly so that the yard is full. You'll notice the some of the pumpkins are covered in plastic, which is actually saran wrap. Since we begin on Monday it's important to keep the moisture inside the pumpkin. Drying out is what causes your design to cave and become distorted, so Nana uses a q-tip to cover the carved out parts in vaseline and then saran wrap. Personally, I think it would be easier to just spray the whole thing in WD-40, which works the same way, but they've always done the vaseline thing so I don't argue. If your pumpkins starts to become dry though, you can always fill the bathtub and let it soak for a few hours. Honestly; it will plump back up as it absorbs the water.One by one, from the garage to the yard. I'm generally the person who tells everyone where to sit the pumpkins, which worked out well this year since I wasn't really allowed to carry any. You're going a good job honey! Then comes the task of lighting the pumpkins. We use votives in candle holders in each pumpkin and then fill in as needed with tealights. Tealights alone just aren't near as bright. Every pumpkin starts with 2 votives, and then once the sun goes down we can tell which pumpkins are going to need more light and add accordingly.Way to go, dear.Once it's all set up, we sit in the driveway with the candy and talk to the people as they come by. We draw too much of a crowd to stay in the house and make the kids ring the doorbell, nevermind that we spend all night answering questions and talking to our regulars who come by every year. But this is what makes it all worth it: